Detrital record of Indosinian mountain building in SW China: Provenance of the Middle Triassic turbidites in the Youjiang Basin

Jianghai H. Yang, Peter Anthony Cawood, Yuansheng H. Du, Hu Huang, Lisha H. Hu

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102 Citations (Scopus)


Sandstone petrology, geochemistry, and detrital zircon U–Pb ages and trace elements are integrated to investigate the provenance of Middle Triassic strata from the Youjiang Basin, SW China. Variations in abundance of volcanic lithic fragments and ratios of Th/U, Zr/Sc and Th/Sc suggest that sandstones from the southwestern portion of the basin display less sedimentary recycling and have a lower felsic average source composition than time-equivalent strata from the central, eastern and northern portions of the basin. All sandstones exhibit an overall similar detrital zircon U–Pb age distribution pattern with major age groups at 1200–900 Ma, 480–420 Ma and 300–240 Ma together with some Devonian–Carboniferous and Neoproterozoic grains. Combined with the compiled paleocurrents, the detrital zircon ages suggest multiple-sourced components. Pre-Devonian detrital zircons were likely derived from the recycled late Neoproterozoic–early Paleozoic clastic rocks and from magmatic and metamorphic rocks related to the early Paleozoic orogeny in the southeastern segment of the South China Craton. Late Paleozoic–Triassic detrital zircons together with the presence of well preserved volcanic lithic fragments were considered to indicate first-cycled detrital input from a subduction–collisional mountain belt to the southwest of the craton. These provenance data argue for an Indosinian mountain building event following the closure of a Paleo-Tethys branch ocean rather than for a thermotectonic reactivation event as recently proposed for the Indosinian orogeny in the southwestern China. In association with this orogeny the Youjiang Basin evolved into a foreland basin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2012


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